Excerpted Analysis — For Doug L. Hoffman’s complete analysis see here:
The good news, according to Riva, is that Antarctica is not losing ice as rapidly as suggested by many recent studies. Moreover, snowfall in east Antarctica seems to be compensating for some—if not quite all—of the melting elsewhere in Antarctica’
For Greenland things are a bit murkier. “Assessments of GrIS mass balance require more careful consideration than was possible here, because the surrounding mountain glaciers and ice caps are included in some, but not all, of our geodetic surveys and because the ice-sheet domains varied in area by 2%,” explain Shepherd et al..
It is unclear how these trends, such as ice loss from Greenland, will evolve, says Ian Joughin, one of the paper’s co-authors and a satellite expert at the University of Washington in Seattle: “It really remains unclear whether such losses will decline, whether they’ll level off or they’ll accelerate further.” This should be viewed in light of recent data that show Greenland underwent a similar episode of ice loss in the 1930s.
Indeed, Shepherd et al. admit that their work is biased on too short a time span to draw any meaningful long-term conclusions. “We have shown that assessments of mass imbalance based on short geodetic records should be treated with care, because fluctuations in SMB can be large over short time periods,” they admit, hinting at the study’s fundamental problem. Recent ice-core data reveal that theAntarctic Peninsula area undergoes bouts of rapid warming periodically.
It is striking that supporters of calamitous climate change always base their projections on the last three decades or so—a period that was, in fact, a time of increasing warmth. In this case, they found melting ice around the globe, just not as much as often claimed and certainly not justification for projections into the future for 50 or 100 years. Go back 150 years and people were not worried about retreating glaciers but advancing ones.